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Second Look

News/Business. Highlights of past news stories. (CC)

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FOX

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00:30:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

David Koresh 11, Koresh 9, Fbi 4, Us 4, Waco Texas 4, Carmel 2, Me 1, Lableu 1, Christ 1, Acopalypse 1, United 1, Loco 1, Atf 1, United States 1, Texas 1, Jesus 1, Chuck 1, Koresh Enpregnated 1, Stewart Wright 1, Clinton 1,
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  FOX    Second Look    News/Business. Highlights  
   of past news stories. (CC)  

    April 21, 2013
    11:00 - 11:30pm PDT  

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next on a second look, two decades ago the images gripped a nation. the deadly stand off ended in waco texas. tonight we look at what happened, what went wrong and visit the investigations that followed. that's all straight ahead tonight on a second look. good evening and welcome to second look. i'm julie haener. april19, marks a grim anniversary in the history of the united states. 20 years since the fiery end of the siege of the branch
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devidian compound in waco texas. many people would die, many of them children. we learn how the branch devidians came to be and how they ended up the target of the the federal agents. >> reporter: waco was not the apocalypse. but for david koresh and 80 of his followers it might as well have been. they certainly believed in the world great ending battle between good and evil and they almost certainly believed this was it. and it is perhaps as good an explanation as any of how a splinter group of seventh day adventist came to be the longest stand off. but how did it come to this. the armoured assault and fiery end on april 19, 1993?
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it actually began in 1935, 24 years before david koresh was even born. victor hoteff founded the devidian and focused on end of the world prophesy. he moved his followers to the rolling pasture lands outside waco texas and established a following of believers. in 1981 a young man named vernon howell would join the group. by 1986 he would change his name to david koresh. preaching the acopalypse, and ordering all women, including those who already had husbands and girls as young as 12 years
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old to be his wives. a friend said androtti was looking for answers and koresh seemed to have them. >> i think we were all just looking for a little more. it's no fault of the pastor or any member of the church. we were asking really hard questions, you know about faith and about the end times and you know, our walk with the lord. >> reporter: at the same time the dividians began stock miling weapons and ammunition in their caramel compound to do battle in their final days. >> he was very interested in amassing firearms that they did believe that the end of the world was going to happen. >> reporter: defectors claimed koresh was abusing children, sexually using teenage girls and growing increasingly irrational. >> when i was in it he did have several wives that were under
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18. >> how old? >> from 12 to 17. >> reporter: a couple of newspapers brought to the attention of local and federal authorities. and to that featful day, for many the question was not theology, it was the law. >> we know this man was stockpiling weapons. >> reporter: they began surveillance and planted an undercover agent inside the group. armed with search and arrest warrants, agents decided to move in and take koresh but word had leaked out and made its way back to the compound. the branch devidians were waiting. it's not clear who fired first. >> we were half way into the location when they opened fire on us. >> they started firing at me. and so what happened was is that i fell back in the door
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and the bullets started coming through the door. some of the men started firing on them. then i started hollering, i was saying go away, there's women and children here, let's talk. >> the door was slammed on our face and we were immediately met by gunfire from numerous places. >> reporter: the gun battle that followed was chaotic and deadly. the fiercest fuselage continued without let up for 45 minutes. >> we were standing, we were having bullets were ricochets around us. a couple of feet from your own feet. then a couple of the agents went down. they yelled at us. they said television, camera man get an ambulance, so what i did is i ran back to the truck. got in the truck then i heard a couple of shots hit the truck.
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so i stayed in the truck. i called my supervisor and he got every ambulance out here because agents were dropping left and right. >> reporter: they carried away four dead. another 16 who were wounded limped or were carried to ambulances. six dividians died. several followers were wounded inside the camp, including koresh. >> if i don't give up, they're going to kill him. and they might do it any way. up next on a second look. from bad to worse. the siege at waco ends in flames and death. and a bit later the investigations into what happened at waco. we hear from the bay area families who tried to convince their loved ones to leave the branch dividians. ♪
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the siege 20 years ago at the branch devidian compound in waco texas. it ended in flames and more death when authorities approached the compound for a second time. >> reporter: they negotiated daily with koresh. >> if our belief that he believes that his prophesies will be fulfilled if the government engages in an all out fire fight with him in which he is executed. >> reporter: early on koresh said he would come out if federal agents would broadcast a tape he had prepared. >> i david koresh am agreed to come out peacefully with all
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these people. i am really concerned about the lives of my brother and more concerned about the lives of all those in this world. without christ, without jesus, we have no hope. >> reporter: but after it aired koresh reneged. >> he stated that he had received a message from god instructing him to wait. >> reporter: so authorities turned up the heat. at times agents blasted the compound with music. or sounds meant to unnerve those inside. >> sound of rabbits being slaughtered. sound of loco motives going through their building. dentist drills. >> reporter: the siege lasted for seven weeks, it filled the news and gripped the nation. >> he thinks he's the lamb of god when all he is is a cheap
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thug who interpreted the bible through the barrel of a gun railroad -- barrel of a gun. >> reporter: then on april 19, federal agents decided to enter the compound. nine of the dividians escaped. no one was able to determine how many died, but it was more than 80. and many of those were children. >> he had those fires started. he had 51 days to release those children. he chose those children to die. >> reporter: the siege was over. but the recriminations had only begun. >> the worse possible result happened from this operation. a lot of lives lost so a lot of questions arise as to arise as
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to whether this was the most appropriate negotiation. >> on one side the branch devidians who believed until the coming of the prophesy. and could see the federal agent surrounding them as the agents of the end time. >> keeping them up with the loud music. it reenforced what christ said that the whole outside world was evil. >> reporter: law enforcement who centers on taking control of the situation. >> he was continually fortifying, he was demanding and was seeking provocation to get into the a shooting with us. >> reporter: two sides, two different views of the world and of the stand off. speaking to each other for 51 days, but in the end, never really hearing what the other was saying.
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i'm craig heeps for a second look. >> when we come back on a second look, the investigations into what happened at waco. a bit later, disturbing testimony from a 14-year-old girl about branch devidian leader david koresh.
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tonight a second look revisits the siege of the branch devidian compound in waco texas 20 years tonight. it was easy to see what went wrong in waco. the question is why it went wrong. government cover ups had muddies the water more. craig heaps had this look at this investigation that followed the siege in waco. >> reporter: in the days after the siege ended in the smoking ashes of waco lay many questions and few answers. formost among the questions what went wrong with the original raid and how did that deadly fire start that ended the siege. when they first approached the compound, atf agents were relying on the element of the surprise. but the branch devidian seemed to know they were coming. >> we had everything, the intelligence, what we had was someone who eliminated the element of surprise which is
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what we needed and in so doing our agents walked into an ambush and we'll find out who did that. >> reporter: so who tipped off koresh? the atf would come to blame a local television reporter and photographer who had been told by law enforcement sources the raid was going to take place. and in fact, the photographer who had become lost on his way to mount carmel that day, asked a postman for directions telling him about the raid. it was the postman a member of the dividian sect who went back to the dividian sect and told david koresh. the next week, the atfs director was asked if agents would have gone in, had they known the element of the surprise had been lost. >> absolutely not. because as you can see we walked into an ambush and there's no way that our people from the team members through the leadership would have
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allowed that to happen had they known. >> reporter: the atf east own report would find that their own under cover agent was that they know. >> the first thing out of my mouth is they know, they know chuck. they know. and he said what happened. i told him what happened. the question was did you see any guns i said no. what was he wearing. i told him what he was wearing. at that time he said okay and that was about the extent of the phone call. >> all right sir did you request that the raid be called off because the element of surprise had been lost? >> no, sir at that time i really didn't have a chance. >> they went ahead any way with deadly results. >> by that time, i don't believe we were outmaneuvered or outplanned the problem was
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we were outgunned. >> reporter: many flame the fbi saying that they threw gas bombs into the compound. but officials say that david koresh set fire to his own compound. dividian followers denied it. >> reporter: the government commissioned would agree with the fbi. >> government agents did not start the fire at waco. >> reporter: state arson investigators would conclude the fire started in three places at the same time. indicating it was deliberately set. >> no matter whether you believe that david koresh started it or whether you
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believe as these survivors say that david koresh did not start it and it was started by agents. no matter how you look at it it wouldn't have happened had the bradleys and tanks and gas bombs didn't start it. >> reporter: agents had used flammable tear gas but it was hours before and on a different building. >> it appears there's water underneath to try to extinguish it but you can try it. >> 10-4, copy you can try it. >> that's affirmative. >> reporter: they came upon video tapes that prompted the admission. >> the fact that it's such a large issue now is directly the responsibility of the fbi's
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oversight. they should have picked this up. they should have flagged it for its importance and it should have been sent to the right people. there's no excuse for it. >> reporter: on the job for less than a month when the waco siege ended, attorney general janet reno would say it was her concern for the children inside that prompted her to okay the attack. reports that they were being abused. >> people had come out and had said that he was beating babies, slapping them around and beating them. again, we can't verify it but you become really concerned, i mean the best information you have from the people who had been in there are that children are being abused. and you've got to make the best judgment you can. balancing all the interest, what's the best way to go about getting them out safely. >> it is a decision for which i take responsibility, i'm the
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president of the united states and i signed off on the general decision. >> reporter: reno would later back away saying there were no official reports just the history of abuse allegations. president clinton would distance himself as well saying the decision was reno's. >> i talked to her on sunday saying, i want you to tell me once more why you think we should move in now and not wait. and she said it's all because of the children. >> reporter: and at the epd, they say that david koresh -- and at the end, investigators concluded those inside the compound died from smoke inhalation or by being hit by falling debris or from gunshots. >> we had a white male, we don't know his age yet.
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he had a single gunshot wound to the head and that was his cause of death. next to this person we had a white female, adult also. she also had a gunshot wound to the head. and that was the cause of her death. >> reporter: the federal commission concluded that five children were shot in the head execution style. and that federal agents did not fire a single bullet into the compound on the day of the fire. >> government agents did not shoot at the dividians on april 19, 1993. >> reporter: when the investigations were over, and the dust had settled, the families of those who died dividians and atf agents alike had to live with their grief. >> lots of tearful eyes. >> we will bounce back with time. >> years from now the name of
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those fallen agents, lableu, mcclian, williams and willis will be engraved on the marble walls of this memorial. in so doing we will permanently etch their memories into the hearts and minds of all future generations to come. >> reporter: andretti lost two daughters and a granddaughter in the fire at the compound. >> she went, she gave her ear and she became convinced. perhaps because of the novelty of the proposition. perhaps because of her wanting to know more. >> your mind just doesn't stop working. you know you think of the people just trying to get out of there. >> we lost half of our families. >> reporter: seven of the dividians were later convicted from manslaughter to weapons violation and each were
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sentenced to 40 years in federal prison. other dividians still occupy mount carmel. two atf agents were dismissed but later sued and were reinstated. no fbi agents were ever disciplined. however the fbi and atf have both changed their policies and practices based on the lessons learned from the waco siege. i'm craig heaps for a second look. >> when we come back on a second look, a 14-year-old girl gives disturbing testimony about branch dividian leader david koresh.
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two years after the siege in waco congress held hearings over the dividian sects. one of the most horrifying is that he had abused a young girl. >> reporter: on day one of
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congressional hearings the most dramatic testimony came from a 14-year-old girl. carry jewel testified that koresh enpregnated several of her friends and had sex with her when she was only 10 years old. >> when he was finished he told me to go take a shower. i was not afraid but i was worried. >> reporter: there was testimony that illegal weapons were found and the president of the national district attorney's office said he had no doubt the search warrant was justified. stewart wright an expert on religious movements and an expert on the book of waco says
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koresh believed that the armagedon was on hand. the >> the atf gardenerred a look at the dividian. >> he was going to have a confrontation between pass over of 92 and pass over 93. unfortunately it was atf who stumbled into that intent. >> reporter: democrats delayed the hearing saying the nra had been involved in the investigation. >> rather wants to destroy the atf because they enforced the laws that the nra dispised.
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>> i really wish we could get off -- >> and that does it for this week's second look. thank you for watching. where was i... in one room then start playing it in another. and...i'm talking to myself... [ male announcer ] call to get u-verse tv for just $19 a month for 2 years with qualifying bundles. rethink possible.